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Open AccessArticle

Spatial and Temporal Variability of Glacier Surface Velocities and Outlet Areas on James Ross Island, Northern Antarctic Peninsula

1
Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Wetterkreuz 15, 91052 Erlangen, Germany
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Department of Geography, University of Liège, 3, Clos Mercator, Bat. B11, 4000 Liège, Belgium
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Instituto Antártico Argentino, 25 de Mayo 1143, 1650 San Martín, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090374
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 19 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 28 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Glaciers and Ice Caps)
The northern Antarctic Peninsula was affected by a significant warming over the second half of the 20th century and the collapse of several ice shelves. Local climate conditions on James Ross Island on the northeastern coast can differ strongly from the main part of the Antarctic Peninsula. This paper reports the spatial and temporal variability of glacier surface velocities and the area of their outlets throughout James Ross Island, and evaluates potential relationships with atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Velocity estimates were retrieved from intensity feature tracking of scenes from satellite synthetic aperture radar sensors TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X between 2014 and 2018, which were validated against ground observations. Calving front positions back to 1945 were used to calculate outlet area changes for the glaciers by using a common-box approach. The annual recession rates of almost all investigated glacier calving fronts decelerated for the time periods 2009–2014 and 2014–2018 in comparison to the period 1988–2009, but their velocity patterns differed. Analysis of atmospheric conditions failed to explain the different patterns in velocity and area changes. We suggest a strong influence from local bathymetric conditions. Future investigations of the oceanic conditions would be necessary for a profound understanding of the super-position of different influencing factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: James Ross Island; Antarctic Peninsula; glacier velocities; glacier area changes James Ross Island; Antarctic Peninsula; glacier velocities; glacier area changes
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Lippl, S.; Friedl, P.; Kittel, C.; Marinsek, S.; Seehaus, T.C.; Braun, M.H. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Glacier Surface Velocities and Outlet Areas on James Ross Island, Northern Antarctic Peninsula. Geosciences 2019, 9, 374.

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